|6th Deputy Governor of Rivers State|
|Assumed office |
29 May 2015
|Preceded by||Tele Ikuru|
|Secretary to the State Government|
5 October 1995 – 5 July 1999
20 December 1952
Degema, Rivers State
|Political party||People's Democratic Party|
Ipalibo Gogo Banigo (née Harry; born 20 December 1952) is a Nigerian medical doctor, politician and the first female Deputy Governor of Rivers State. A member of the People's Democratic Party, she has held various important offices at the Rivers State Ministry of Health. During her service, she assumed the positions of Director of Public Health Services, Acting Commissioner, Director-General and Permanent Secretary. She achieved prominence first in 1995, as Secretary to the Government of Rivers State before serving as Head of Service of the state. In December 2014, Ezenwo Wike selected her as his running mate in the 2015 election. She was elected Deputy Governor and assumed office on 29 May 2015.
Early life and education
Banigo was born on 20 December 1952 to the Harry family of Obuama in Degema, Rivers State. As a teenager, she earned the West African School Certificate (Division One) and the Higher School Certificate at Queens College Yaba. She was awarded prizes for her academic excellence in Chemistry, Biology and English Literature. In 1968, she won the BBC award for Students Poetry.
Prior to graduating from high school, she was the Best All-Round Student of The Year from 1969 to 1970. She obtained a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery from the University College Hospital Ibadan, and attended Harvard University School of Public Health for her master's degree. Between 1990 and 1992, Banigo received diplomas in both Tropical Hygiene and Dermatology from the University of London.
Banigo started her career at the Rivers State Port Health Service, where she served as Registrar of Births and Senior Medical Officer-in-charge. She was honorary consultant dermatologist at the University of Port Harcourt, after which she became principal of Rivers State School of Health Technology in 1985. During her time at the Rivers State Ministry of Health, she held five responsible offices including Director of Public Health Services, Acting Commissioner, Director-General and Permanent Secretary. On 5 October 1995, Banigo was appointed Secretary to the Government of Rivers State, this she would maintain until 5 July 1999. She further served for five months, from May 1998, as Head of Service of Rivers State.
While retired, Banigo continued to provide professional services and was later made Public Health Adviser of the Shell Petroleum Development Company in Nigeria. Additionally, she held the offices of both Executive Director and Secretary at the National Primary Health Care Development Agency. Some of her memberships are Governing Council of University of Calabar, Governing Board of University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Rivers State Food and Nutrition Committee, Rivers State Hospital Management Board and Reference Board DFID. She was also appointed Project Director of UNFPA, UNICEF and Chairman of the Rivers State Relief Committee. In December 2014, she was chosen to be the running mate of gubernatorial candidate Ezenwo Wike in the 2015 election. Both PDP members were elected and took office on 29 May 2015. Banigo currently serves as the 6th and first female Deputy Governor of Rivers State.
- Akasike, Chukwudi (30 December 2014). "Wike woos Rivers women, picks ex-SSG as running mate". The Punch. Port Harcourt. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- Abia, Daniel (1 January 2015). "When Rivers PDP Unveiled Banigo". Daily Independent. Port Harcourt. Retrieved 5 January 2015 – via AllAfrica.
- "RSG Approves Inauguration Of Free Healthcare C'Mittee". The Tide. Port Harcourt: Rivers State Newspaper Corporation. 23 October 2009. Retrieved 5 January 2014.
- "Banigo emerges Wike's running mate in Rivers". Vanguard. Port Harcourt. 31 December 2014. Retrieved 5 January 2015.
- Lodge, Carey (11 April 2015). "Nigeria: voting begins for state governors". Christian Today. Retrieved 14 April 2015.
- "What Ipalibo Banigo Should Do". The Tide. 29 May 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2015.